You’re a Real Estate Agent. Your days are filled with buyers, sellers, inspectors, contractors and closings. You know you need to improve your web presence or if you just starting out, you need to get one. With so many options to choose from, where do you start?
If you read my last post about Winning the Search Results Battle – you can probably guess what’s coming next. Here are three steps to protect your web presence:
1. Own Your Digital Hub. Your website is your digital hub, the home base for your entire online presence. It contains links to your social media pages and third party portals. Those sites contain links that point back to the content created on your website. There are a lot of options for websites today. I believe strongly that your website should be a self-hosted site powered by WordPress. You should use a domain name you own and control. WordPress is open source, so you won’t have to contend with propriety software or have your content held hostage later on by a provider. Self-hosted WordPress is not the easiest option, but in my opinion it is the best one for building and protecting your online presence.
I’ve got a friend that is a real estate broker, and everytime she wants to update one of her sites, she has to pay the software vendor to make that change. Needless to say, she’s not happy about that. Her content is trapped. She continues paying every month for the site, but doesn’t own it. She can’t freely move it or modify it. Don’t make that mistake. Own your site. That’s why I recommend using the Winning Agent Pro theme to real estate agents. It’s designed for the industry, easy to edit and portable.
2. Be Controlling. Be in control of your website. Some brokerage firms provide websites for their agents as part of their service offerings. If it’s a WordPress site – that’s great. What you are looking for is a site that you can take with you if you ever leave that firm. The last thing you want if you leave, is having your site deleted or not being able to take it with you. You’ll spend more time and money adding content on your site then the initial cost to build it. It’s valuable – so make sure you get to keep it.
You can still take advantage of any site your firm provides – just don’t make it your home base. The original content you create should be on your own site. A site you control. This is also true for third party portals, blogging sites, etc. If you write a post on a third party site, be sure to reference content from your website somewhere in the post.
3. Protect your site. Make sure your website is being backed up daily and updates are applied when available. Managed hosts do this very well. Many shared host providers offer free backups as part of the hosting package. If your site is hacked or you accidentally delete something, backups are crucial.
Your web presence is an asset and worth building and protecting. It’s an investment, not an expense. By nature, we want to see expenses decrease, and investments grow.
The psychology of how you think of your website will determine what you put into it. Your website goal is to drive more leads to your real estate practice. That’s why you have a website.
Start writing and watch your practice grow.